A Strengths-Based Parenting Intervention with Low-Income African American Families by ProQuest

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With the propensity of African American children at higher risk for academic success due to their disproportionate rate of school discipline problems compared to their peers, school counselors are challenged to provide culturally and developmentally responsive services for this population. This article provides a brief rationale for the use of a family-oriented, strengths-based approach when working with African Americans and explores the effect of "child parent relationship training" on children's behavior and parent-child relationship stress. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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									        Angela I. Sheely-
      Moore, Ph.D., is an
 assistant professor in the
           Department of
          Counseling and
Educational Leadership,
          Montclair State
        University, Upper
                              A Strengths-Based Parenting
           Montclair, NJ.
  E-mail: Sheelya@mail.
                              Intervention with Low-Income
            montclair.edu
Sue C. Bratton, Ph.D., is
 an associate professor in
                              African American Families
       the Department of      With the propensity of African American children at        Griffin, and Akos (2008) advocated for counseling
 Counseling and Higher        higher risk for academic success due to their dispropor-   services targeted at preschool populations to address
Education, University of      tionate rate of school discipline problems compared to     the growth in early education programs, and they
   North Texas, Denton.       their peers, school counselors are challenged to provide   proposed expanding school counselor training to
                              culturally and developmentally responsive services for     include working with this increasingly diverse popu-
                              this population. This article provides a brief rationale   lation of young children. Strength-based school
                              for the use of a family-oriented, strengths-based          counseling services that involve families have been
                              approach when working with African Americans and           suggested as a strategy for promoting academic suc-
                              explores the effect of “child parent relationship train-   cess for children of color by fostering positive par-
                              ing” on children’s behavior and parent-child relation-     ent-child relationships and empowering parents and
                              ship stress.                                               children (Bryan & Henry, 2008).
                                                                                            In alignment with the ASCA National Model®


                              T
                                   he most recent Surgeon General’s report on the        (American School Counselor Association, 2005),
                                   status of children’s mental health brought the        school counselors are faced with the challenging task
                                   nation’s attention to the critical need for pre-      to provide evidence supporting the effectiveness of
                              ventative services for children, especially for racial     counseling interventions they use. A review of arti-
                              and ethnic minority families living in poverty (U.S.       cles published in Professional School Counseling
                              Public Health Service, 2000). The report noted the         revealed no controlled outcome studies targeting
                              important role of schools in meeting this need, with       effective school-based practices for young African
                              an emphasis on effective research supporting cultur-       American children. This exploratory study serves as
                              ally and developmentally responsive services that          a starting point to examine the effectiveness of a
                              involved families. The President’s New Freedom             developmentally and culturally responsive play coun-
                              Commission on Mental Health (2003) reiterated              seling-based intervention, “child parent relationship
                              the need to provide early responsive services to           training,” for low-income African American parents
                              underserved racial and ethnic minority populations         and children within the school setting. This article
                              in settings characterized with fewer mental health         provides a brief rationale for the use of a family-ori-
                              related stigmas, such as schools.                          ented, strengths-based approach when working with
                                 With the recent U.S. Census Bureau (2008) press         this population and explores the effect of child par-
                              release projecting racial minorities as the numerical      ent relationship training on children’s behavior and
                              majority in 2042, with more than half identified as        parent-child relationship stress.
                              children, school counselors are challenged to
                              respond proactively to an increasingly diverse popu-       NEED FOR PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT
                              lation of students to ensure equity and promote aca-       WITH AFRICAN AMERICAN CHILDREN
                              demic success. Nowhere is this challenge greater           LIVING IN POVERTY
                              than in the growing number of preschool programs
                              in public schools, such as Head Start, designed to         Research has demonstrated the positive impact of
                              provide early intervention for children considered at      parental involvement on children’s academic
                              risk for school achievement. African American chil-        achievement and socio-emotional development
                              dren, in particular, appear to be at higher risk for       (Jackson, Gyamfi, Brooks-Gunn, & Blake, 1998;
                              academic and personal struggles due to their dispro-       Lamy, 2003; Parker, Boak, Griffin, Ripple, & Peay,
                              portionate rate of school discipline problems com-         1999; Samaras & Wilson, 1999). However, parental
                              pared to their peers (National Center for                  involvement in the schools can be thwarted for those
                              Educational Statistics, [NCES], 2003). Galassi,            who live in poverty (Bryan & Henry, 2008; Samaras

                                                        
								
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